The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of Caring in the field of nursing. In considering the concept of caring, the following attributes immediately comes to mind which comprise of, but are not restricted to: kind, thoughtful, gentle, helpful, compassionate, considerate, loving, sensitive, concerned, caregiver. Together these words fit into the philosophies of nursing and the provision of care to individuals, which provide the marked distinction between the profession of nursing and just another job carrying out assigned duties or providing a service for a pay check.
Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary (1999) defines caring as being under one’s protection or charge like a doctor or caregiver (p.314). The care ethicists “emphasizes the importance of caring as maintaining a relationship no matter the consequences for the caretaker and others; it is choosing an option, but acting so as not to violate relationships or hurt others with whom one is in relationship” (Parks & Wike, 2010, p. 17). Care is expressed as concern for others, their rights, and treating every individual equally (Edelman & Mandle, 2010, p.120).
Davison & Williams (2009, Nursing Times) states that, “Compassion, or caring can be viewed as “nursing’s most precious asset” (Schantz, 2007), a fundamental element of nursing care (Dietze and Orb, 2000), and as one of the strengths of the profession. According to Torjuul et al (2007), it involves being close to patients and seeing their situation as more than a medical scenario and routine procedures.”
A nurse is required to exercise sensitivity in different situation and to different individuals, especially when dealing with different cultures. “Recognizing cultural diversity, integrating cultural knowledge, and acting, when possible, in a culturally appropriate manner enables nurses to be more effective in initiating nursing assessments and serving as client advocates” (ANA, 1991).